Senior Circuit Breaker Credit Certain senior citizens in Massachusetts may be eligible to claim a refundable credit on their state income taxes for the real estate taxes paid on the Massachusetts residential property they own or rent and which they occupy as their principal residence. The maximum credit allowed is $1,100 for the tax year beginning January 1, 2018. If the credit due the taxpayer exceeds the amount of the total income tax payable for the year by the taxpayer, the excess amount of the credit will be refunded to the taxpayer without interest. To determine if you qualify for this credit, refer to the Senior Circuit Breaker Credit instructions in this booklet.
If you qualify for this credit and you are a homeowner, enter the amount from Schedule CB, Circuit Breaker Credit, line 17; if you are a renter, enter the amount from line 21. Be sure to complete and enclose Schedule CB with your return.
Annual Update of Circuit Breaker Tax Credit
Taxpayers age 65 or older who own or rent residential property located in Massachusetts are allowed a credit equal to the amount by which their real estate tax payments, or 25% of the rent constituting a real estate tax payment, exceeds 10% of the taxpayer’s total income, not to exceed $1,100. The amount of the credit is subject to limitations based on the taxpayer’s total income and the assessed value of the real estate, which for tax year 2018 must not exceed $778,000.
For purposes of calculating the credit, total income and maximum credit thresholds are adjusted annually. For tax year 2018, an eligible taxpayer’s total income cannot exceed $58,000 in the case of a single filer who is not a head of household filer; $73,000 for a head of household filer; and $88,000 for joint filers. In order to qualify for the credit, a taxpayer must be age 65 or older and must occupy the property as his or her principal residence. See TIR 18-10.